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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2008 Nov;90(11):1407-13. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.90B11.21070.

Early management of proximal humeral fractures with hemiarthroplasty: a systematic review.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece 71110.


We performed a comprehensive systematic review of the literature to examine the role of hemiarthroplasty in the early management of fractures of the proximal humerus. In all, 16 studies dealing with 810 hemiarthroplasties in 808 patients with a mean age of 67.7 years (22 to 91) and a mean follow-up of 3.7 years (0.66 to 14) met the inclusion criteria. Most of the fractures were four-part fractures or fracture-dislocations. Several types of prosthesis were used. Early passive movement on the day after surgery and active movement after union of the tuberosities at about six weeks was described in most cases. The mean active anterior elevation was to 105.7 degrees (10 degrees to 180 degrees) and the mean abduction to 92.4 degrees (15 degrees to 170 degrees). The incidence of superficial and deep infection was 1.55% and 0.64%, respectively. Complications related to the fixation and healing of the tuberosities were observed in 86 of 771 cases (11.15%). The estimated incidence of heterotopic ossification was 8.8% and that of proximal migration of the humeral head 6.8%. The mean Constant score was 56.63 (11 to 98). At the final follow-up, no pain or only mild pain was experienced by most patients, but marked limitation of function persisted.

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